Adam Stewart named Hotelier of the Year

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter

Monday, June 08, 2015

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ROSE HALL, St James -Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Resort International (SRI), Adam Stewart, 34, became the youngest person to cop the Hotelier of the Year Award which was presented at the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association 54th Annual General Meeting at Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Stewart who by coincidence, was born in 1981- the very year his father, hotel mogul Gordon 'Butch' Stewart bought his first hotel and launched the Sandals chain- immediately lauded employees for their support.

"I am inspired by Jamaica. The people who work with me... so many of us here, we work together, we do business together we are friends, we are family," said Stewart who noted that Jamaica has one of the best tourism products.

Stewart who was appointed CEO of SRI in 2006, began formally preparing himself for his career in the industry by studying at the Florida International University School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

It was pointed out at the ceremony that the unassuming Stewart "grew up with tourism being a part of his household".

"At seven years old, his dad gave him his first assignment-stuffing envelopes and brochures for mailing out-and as he grew up, he did summer jobs inside and outside of the business," the audience was told.

Stewart who is also vice president of the JHTA said he was very humbled by the gesture.

"Its been great for me to be a VP under Nicola's (Madden Greig) leadership and we continue to fight the fight internationally to support Jamaicans," he said.

Meanwhile, when Stewart received the coveted award, it was the second round of wild celebrations for members of the Sandals team as only moments earlier Senior Air Condition and Refrigeration Technician at Sandals Royal Caribbean, Earl Cummings was presented with the Hotel Employee of the Year Award.

Cummings has been a air conditioning technician for 22 years, starting out as a junior technician at Appliance Traders, after studying electrical engineering at Montego Bay Secondary School, now St James High School.

Awardees in other categories include

*J Wray and Nephew, who won the Purveyor of the Year Award;

*International Airline of the Year went to JetBlue,

*Hotel Manage/Supervisor of the Year was won by Marcia Morris of Jamaica Pegasus;

*Alia Atkinson won the Abe Issa Award for Excellence;

* Lifetime Achievement Award went to Joyce Wright founder of the Rondel Village in Negril; and

* Tourism Employee of the Year was won by Christopher Bailey, maintenance coordinator/supervisor at Appleton Estate Rum Tour.

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